Your service charge will normally consist of the following items:
This charge is your share of the premium for the building insurance that we pay to cover the structure of your property and any communal areas. The charge is calculated by dividing the total amount we have to pay by the number of properties and garages covered by our policy. As we insure a large number of properties, we are able to pass on the benefit of the economies of scale that we receive. However, our insurance does not cover the contents of your flat and so you will need to arrange your own insurance for this.
Repair and maintenance
This is the amount we have spent on day-to-day repairs and maintenance to the structure and any communal areas of your block. In most cases, this will be a proportion of the total amount that it cost us to have the repair done (i.e. total cost divided by the number of properties benefiting from the repair). However, occasionally we do repairs to one flat only. If this were your property, you would be charged the full amount for these.
If there is a door-entry system in your block, we will charge you an amount for running and maintaining it. We separate the total amount it costs us to run our door-entry systems into the amount for our sheltered accommodation and for other properties. We initially divide the amount it costs us to provide these systems in properties other than our sheltered schemes by the number of blocks that have a door-entry system in them. This gives us a cost for each block. We then divide this figure by the number of flats in the block, giving us the charge for each property in that block.
If your block has bulk bins for refuse collection, we will charge you an amount for rotating and preparing these bins for collection, as well as for any associated cleaning.
Communal electricity charges
If your block has any communal lighting or other electrical facility, we will charge you an amount for the electricity used and any repairs/maintenance we carry out to these fittings. This is based on the actual cost of the electricity used in each individual block divided by the number of flats, giving us the charge for each property.
Maintenance of grounds
This is a charge towards the cost of maintaining our grassed and other open or communal areas of land. It includes such things as cutting the grass, weeding hard surface areas and pruning shrubs, trees or bushes. We divide the total cost for this service by the total number of council-owned and leasehold properties that we manage to get a cost per property. We then charge this amount to all leaseholders that have the use of or access to any of these areas.
As well as carrying out day to day repairs, we have an ongoing programme where we plan maintenance and improvement works in advance and include all of the properties in a particular area or street. This is known as our planned programme and it includes such works as external decoration, installing double glazing, re-roofing and structural works. Before we carry out work of this nature, we are required by law to consult with you in a certain way.
In some areas of the district, we arrange for the shared internal areas of blocks of flats to be cleaned regularly. Where we provide this service, we will charge you an amount towards its cost.
If we charge you for any other items that do not come under any of the above headings, we will give details of these under this heading.
As leasehold ownership is a form of long tenancy, you have to make a very small rent payment. This is a condition of your lease.
This is an amount towards our costs for managing your property. This includes a contribution towards our costs in working out and managing your service charge accounts, dealing with enquiries and supervising the services you receive.